D

Decerebrate Posture (Decerebrate Rigidity)
Exaggerated posture of extension as a result of a lesion to the prepontine area of the brain stem, and is rarely seen fully developed in humans. In reporting, it is preferable to describe the posture seen.

Decorticate Posture (Decorticate Rigidity)
Exaggerated posture of upper extremity flexion and lower extremity extension as a result of a lesion to the mesencephalon or above. In reporting, it is preferable to describe the posture seen.

Decubitus
Pressure area, bed sore, skin opening, skin breakdown. A discolored or open area of skin damage caused by pressure. Common areas most prone to breakdown are buttocks or backside, hips, shoulder blades, heels, ankles and elbows.

Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
A shearing injury of large nerve fibers (axons covered with myelin) in many areas of the brain. It appears to be one of the two primary lesions of brain injury, the other being stretching or shearing of blood vessels from the same forces, producing hemorrhage.

Diffuse Brain Injury
Injury to cells in many areas of the brain rather than in one specific location.

Diplopia
Seeing two images of a single object; double vision. See also vision after head injury.

Discipline
When referring to health care or education it means a particular field of study, such as medicine, occupational therapy, nursing, recreation therapy or others.

Disinhibition
Inability to suppress (inhibit) impulsive behavior and emotions.

Disorientation
Not knowing where you are, who you are, or the current date. Health professionals often speak of a normal person as being oriented "times three" which refers to person, place and time.

Dorsiflexion
When applied to the ankle, the ability to bend at the ankle, moving the front of the foot upward.

Dysarthria
Difficulty in forming words or speaking them because of weakness of muscles used in speaking or because of disruption in the neuromotor stimulus patterns required for accuracy and velocity of speech.

Dysphagia
A swallowing disorder characterized by difficulty in oral preparation for the swallow, or in moving material from the mouth to the stomach. This also includes problems in positioning food in the mouth.


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